09. December 2007 · Comments Off on Early Morning Thoughts (from a NON-morning person) · Categories: General

I woke up at 330 this morning, and when I couldn’t get back to sleep, my first thought was “I knew that long mid-day nap was a bad idea.”

But as I lay there in bed, trying to fall asleep again, thoughts started flittering through my mind, some of them worth sharing. And I found myself writing a post in my mind, with no way to get it from my mind to paper/PC, unless I got up.

Why hasn’t someone invented a “mind-writing machine?” One that you can turn on and off at will, that could record the thoughts you particularly want to keep for later playback, without one’s having to get out of bed, turn on lights, and find writing paraphernalia?

More importantly, Was I LYING in bed, or LAYING in bed? : I’m 46 years old, with 2 degrees and 1/3 of another, and have no idea which is the correct word. I’m tired of not knowing that (I researched it when I got up – it seems that “lay” in the 2nd paragraph is correct, because it’s the past tense of lie. But when I’m IN bed, I’m LYING in bed. Hopefully, I’ll remember this tidbit of English grammar for more than the next 5 minutes).

So now I know – I lay in bed, thinking, and letting my mind ramble where it would. And y’all are wondering why the heck I thought my thoughts were worth sharing. That’s coming up next.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not really a morning person. So here I am, awake at 330am, in bed, trying to sleep, but fully aware of what’s around me.

The pressure along my right arm and shoulder? That’s little Zoe, using me for a pillow and bed-warmer. *fond smile* I could feel her little ears tickling my shoulder, and when she stretched, her tiny feet pressed again my arm. I love the fact that she sleeps right next to me, and often uses me as a pillow. Sometimes she dreams that she’s running, and her tiny feet beat a tattoo against my arm or my back, and it makes me smile. It’s funny – I used to be the soundest sleeper in the world – could sleep on a schoolbus full of elementary kids when I was in high school, and have to be woken up when we reached my stop. Now I jerk awake if a dog changes position, instantly alert and trying to discern whether s/he needs to go out or is just shifting in his/her sleep.

As Zoe re-positions herself, I move my arm to make sure it encircles her, a soft barrier between her and the bigger dogs who might not realize she’s under their feet since they don’t have x-ray vision to see under the covers. And I smile again, realizing that in years past, I would never have been able to fall asleep in the position I was currently in – lying on my stomach with my right arm stretched out and down, not quite at right angles from my body. But it forms a cul-de-sac for the Zoe-ster, and she snuggles right in, all warm and safe.

The pressure on the other side of my arm is my Casey-girl, proving the wisdom of using my arm as a wall between Zoe and the big dogs. Casey re-positioned herself when I got back into bed, and has her back resting against my arm. She likes knowing that I’m close by, and will often fall asleep curled up in a ball with her head facing me, to make sure that I’m still there.

I love my shy girl, and she’s finally starting to get used to the new house, and not act like a scaredy-cat every time she goes in or out. I got to watch her play in the yard today (without camera, of course), tossing a marrow bone in the air and chasing it around. Last night, she actually left her bed that’s tucked in a corner, and lay on the floor towards the middle of the living room, a few inches away from Pippin instead of a few feet away from him (again, no camera).

And that pressure on my… what body part is that? Lower leg… that’s the shin, right? … foot… ankle… shin… calf… yeah, that pressure on my shin – that’s the Majestic Pippin, resting his legs on mine, making sure that I’m still there. We had a wee bit of a tussle last night – he got to bed before I did, and when I came over, he was in my spot. He hasn’t really gotten the hang of the “move” command yet – thinks twitching an ear or raising his head is a legitimate response to it (hey, he moved something, right?), but he’s learning “Off” and “wait,” so I got him off the bed and he waited until I was situated before jumping back up at my invitation. He’s youngest, so he sleeps at the foot of the bed, and I always wind up with his ankles/feet draped over my legs.

As I’m lying there this morning thinking of him, I feel him move, and a heavier pressure on my legs. He’s now using my legs as a pillow for his head, and I love that.

I also love the fact that I’ve been sleeping every night in my own bed (v. a hotel), and with all my dogs there — I’ve slept on the couch for most of the last couple years, with the dogs sleeping elsewhere because the sofa had no space. The bed was upstairs, and Angie’s arthritis, plus her aging bladder, made that impractical. It was a lot easier to get up from the couch and take her out than it would have been to do the stairs 2-3 times/night.

My Angie preferred the foot of the bed – part of her independent streak, I’m sure. Wow… 3 months have gone by since I cried my heart out in a hotel room and made the toughest (and most loving) decision of my life, giving my sweet girl the last gift I could give her. I still feel like I haven’t totally grieved for her – I had to compartmentalize my feelings because I was on a business trip, and had to be functional at the client-site.

Then I was house-hunting/moving/getting ready for Pippin, etc., and I think the really strong feelings are still compartmentalized, because I’ve not had near the emotional response to Angie’s death that I had to Jessie’s last year. Then again, I’d been mentally preparing myself for her loss since February, with her cancer scare, or even since her previous birthday when she turned 14, because I knew we were on bonus time. I wish I could have been there with my sweet girl, but I couldn’t make her wait for me to come home.

I keep trying to see her around the house, here. She would have loved it, I know. The minimal steps, the fenced yard, the back porch…

That thought led my thoughts to another loved one that I didn’t get to say goodbye to. Wednesday will be the 4th anniversary of Mom’s death. It gets easier with time – I’m used to her not being around, but at the same time, I really missed her and needed her this year, with all the house-hunting stuff. I would have been on the phone with her every day this summer, talking about pros and cons of various homes and areas. She would have loved that, knowing that I still need her even though I’m close to 50.

I still remember when I told her I was going to adopt a greyhound. She wasn’t impressed – they’re too skinny and their noses are too long, she said. I was able to smile fondly and know that she was just being herself, and it wasn’t a reflection on me. Mom never met Angie, or any of my other dogs. But this morning, just for a moment, I had a picture in my mind of Mom at the rainbow bridge, meeting Angie for the first time, and seeing how beautiful she really was. I was surprised to realize I was crying. And writing this paragraph, I’m crying again.

I miss them both – 2 strong-minded ladies, each special in her own way, each very important in making me who I am today. I truly hope they really are together wherever they are, keeping each other company, and sharing stories about their lives with me (and without me).

Mom taught me how to be strong, how to guard my heart so I wouldn’t be hurt. She was a past master at protecting herself by blocking her emotions.

Angie… she taught me to be gentle. Jessie helped with that, and they also taught me patience. Or maybe it’s not so much that they taught me these things, but more that they revealed them to me as I watched our interactions. I’ve said it before, but it continues to amaze me, that when Angie peed on my bed (on my leg, in fact), early one morning, my reaction was NOT (censored: unprintable)[ but rather “I’m sorry – I didn’t realize that you really did have to go.” (she’d been restless and I’d told her it was too early to get up, that she should go back to sleep).

She aged with dignity, as did Jessie. For that matter, so did Mom. I hope I do as well when I’m their age. And I hope that someone remembers me with as much love as I remember them.

I love you, ladies – all three of you. I’m glad you were in my life.

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